Jerry Lee heads London Rock’n’Roll Festival, Part 1

Good show, starting off with Darryl Higham’s band, who then backed Linda Gail Lewis, with MaryJean on backing vocals. Linda did a good set, avoiding most of Jerry’s numbers except for ‘Old Black Joe’. She included ‘Where Can I Go?’ and a bluesy ‘I’ll Take Memphis’.

Wanda Jackson was on next, with her ‘London Partytimers’ band. She is always good, doing her biggies ‘Mean Mean Man’, ‘Party’, ‘Fujiama Mama’, and the great ‘Right Or Wrong’, plus ‘I Saw The Light’.

Then the Memphis Beats/Killer Band came on and started playing at one minute past ten, after Kenny had fiddled around with the piano, etc. He went into ‘Columbus Stockade’ (or is it ‘Columbus, Ga’?), and then other band numbers did the same numbers as at the 100 Club.

At 10.16 Jerry walked on stage looking very sharp in a dark gray suit, collar and tie and white shoes. A roar went up from the packed house, and cries of ‘Jer-ry Jer-ry Jer-ry’ as in all European shows now. Straight into ‘ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN’, an energetic version, then a great ‘NO HEADSTONE ON MY GRAVE’. This was followed by ‘SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN’, then Jerry responded to a request for ‘CRAZY ARMS’ – beautiful! He seemed a little unhappy with the piano, but it sounded OK to us, as he said ‘See what I have to put up with!’ However he went into ‘WHY YOU BEEN GONE SO LONG?’, and then a rockin’ ‘DRINKIN’ WINE SPO-DEE-O-DEE’, and then another request, but one he usually does anyway, ‘YOU WIN AGAIN’. Then it was ‘BEFORE THE NITE IS OVER’, and the great ballad ‘AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED’ which is becoming a feature of many European tours lately. He then did ‘I DON’T WANT TO BE LONELY TONITE’, and then ‘one I think you’ll like’, and we knew what was coming: ‘GREAT BALLS OF FIRE’ followed by of course ‘WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN”, but this time he stood up, kicked the stool back and played for a few moments standing up to a huge cheer from the crowd, then walked across the stage, turned and waved, and was gone.

A great show once again, and I met many fans, too numerous to mention.

Jerry looks so good in suits, I’ve always thought this. Very smart, and it seems to make him look younger, fitter and thinner to me. Sloppy shirts emphasize his weight and somehow his age.

I was well satisfied with this show, and so were the rest of the audience. He couldn’t have done any longer, it was two minutes past 11 pm when he walked off stage, so had been on for a good 45 minutes, and the venue closed at 11pm.

We got good value for money with three main acts, starting at 7.30 pm, plus records spun by DJ Mark Lamarr.

My next, and final show on this tour, will be Paris next month.

MaryJean heads mini-Convention

MaryJean McCall, niece of Jerry Lee Lewis, headlined what turned out to be a trial run for the revived Jerry Lee Lewis Fan Convention, which will be held in an hotel in Hove on February 21st next year.

Guests in the audience at the Inn on the Green, Ladbroke Grove this evening included MaryJean’s mother Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee’s sister), her father Cecil Harrelson (lifelong friend of Jerry Lee), Norwegian piano player/singer Stephen Ackles, British rockers Danny Rivers and Wee Willie Harris (who both performed) and many Jerry Lee fans in town for his two concerts in London, the next one being later today at The Forum, Kentish Town.

MaryJean performed two brilliant country-oriented sets, and her piano playing technique has certainly developed since her last London visit two years ago. She teamed up with British Country singer Jonny Williams for several numbers, including ‘Jackson’ (made famous by Johnny Cash and June Carter, but also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis and sister Linda Gail). A special request from me was dedicated to me because she missed performing at my Retirement Party last year – a medley of ‘Wild Side of Life’ (the Hank Thompson hit) and the ‘answer’ song by Kitty Wells ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’, with a snatch of ‘It All Depends’ (which Jerry Lee recorded) thrown in. This was performed brilliantly by MaryJean and Jonny Williams.

MaryJean has a beautiful voice, but she can also rock. ‘Cottonfields’ had everybody jumpin’, and was done for her dad, Cecil, in case he was homesick.

Jonny Williams also did a great solo set, and all perfomers were backed up by John Hills and the Tales From The Woods House Band.

Earlier Jenny Laine did a short Country set, including some Patsy Cline favorites, and Rockin’ Gerry Champion also performed.

Danny Rivers did ‘Move It’ as a 50th anniversary tribute to Cliff’s first hit, plus several other numbers, but the highlight of Wee Willie Harris’s great set for me was a request – ‘Trouble In Mind’ (also recorded by Jerry Lee, and performed by him at the 100 Club on Saturday). Wee Willie can still rock and bop around the floor, and he also performed Jerry’s ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and the slow ballad ‘Green Back Dollar’, among others.

It was a party atmosphere, and in the intervals DVDs of The Killer himself were shown on a giant screen.

If this is a sample of the Tales From The Woods first Jerry Lee Lewis Fan Convention, it will be well worth it. Book now! Contact Keith Woods  for details.

Tomorrow, well later today but I haven’t been to bed yet, The Killer himself, plus Linda Gail AND Wanda Jackson at The Forum. Can I stand all this excitement?

Jerry Lee Lewis in London (plus update on Diana Spencer)


Jerry performs ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ at London’s 100 Club (click picture to enlarge)

50 years after his first British tour in 1958, which was cut short, Jerry Lee is yet again on our shores (and has been many times in every decade since 1958).

He appears at The Forum, Kentish Town on Tuesday, then moves on to Continental Europe for an extensive tour. I’ll be at The Forum, and also at his show in Paris with sister Linda Gail Lewis (replacing Little Richard, who’s undergoing hip replacement surgery and who will now tour next March, possibly with Jerry Lee), and Chuck Berry.

Linda Gail Lewis and Wanda Jackson will also be on The Forum bill, Wanda being an original female rocker/Country/Gospel singer who knew Elvis, and once dated him I believe.

Monday night I’m seeing Jerry’s niece (Linda Gail’s daughter) perform at the Inn on the Green with Jonny Williams, a British Country singer, supported by Jenny Laine, a British Patsy Cline-type singer.

Last night was a very special show by Jerry for dedicated fans at London’s intimate 100 Club in Oxford Street. Standing at the front of the stage a few feet from him, this was a memorable experience bringing back memories of when I saw him at the equally intimate Flamingo Club in 1966, or at the King’s Hotel, Newport three nights running in 1993.

Here is my report from last night, about the 64th show I’ve seen Jerry Lee do ‘live’ since 1964. By the middle of November, with the show at The Forum and the one in Paris, I will have seen him about 66 times.This is my report of the 100 Club gig last night. A clip of the first two songs can be seen on YouTube at:

Jerry’s band came on at 8.44 pm. Kenny Lovelace (lead guitar) had his nose in plaster, due to recent surgery on it. He kicked off with ‘My Babe’, then Robert Hall (drummer) did ‘I Love To Ride’, followed by B. B. Cunningham (bass guitar) doing ‘Wooly Bully’. Buck Hutchinson (guitar) went into ‘Big Boss Man’, then suddenly a cheer went up as The Killer appeared in the crowd to the left of the stage.

It was 8.58 pm. as Jerry climbed on stage and walked over to the piano. I was right at the front.

Jerry went into his rockin’ opening number, Chuck Berry’s  ‘Roll Over Beethoven’  followed by a great version of Hank Williams’ ‘You Win Again’ (Jerry’s version was a #2 Country hit and he got a gold record for it) then we got the first surprise of the evening ‘The Crawdad Song’. The crowd were chanting ‘Jer-ry Jer-ry’, a chant which precedes Jerry Springer’s by decades (and can be heard on Jerry Lee’s ”Live at the Star-club Hamburg’ album from 1964.) Someone shouted ‘We love you Jerry’, he replied ‘I love you too’. ‘Georgia’ followed (made famous by Ray Charles), then he did another request, one he says he hasn’t done for ages, Tommy Tucker’s ‘Hi Heel Sneakers’, then a song from his latest and biggest selling album ever, the half a million selling ‘Last Man Standing’ released in 2006: ‘Before The Nite Is Over’ followed by ‘Why You Been Gone So Long?’ Then a great, bluesy ‘Trouble In Mind’, ending with the adlib: ‘the sun’s gonna shine on my back doorstep one of these low down, stinkin’ good lookin’ days’. Berry’s ‘Sweet Little 16′ (UK Top 40 hit for Jerry in 1962) really rocked, after which Jerry joked about not being lonely tonite, just lonesome. ‘I Don’t Want To Be Lonely Tonite’ followed and then another great surprise ‘As Far As I’m Concerned’ a great version of a number he hasn’t even recorded, or which certainly hasn’t been released, followed by a beautiful version of his big #4 Country hit ‘Another Place, Another Time’. Then it was back to rock’n’roll for his gold record biggies ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and into ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’. Not much room to stand up and kick the piano stool back on that small stage, so Jerry just stood up and walked off right in front of me, acknowledging the audience’s cheers.

It was 9.56 pm. Jerry had been on stage for exactly 58 minutes, and we were all well satisfied. Long versions of 14 songs, about 4 minutes each on average.

If this is what we can expect on the forthcoming European tour, it should be great, but we all know this was a very special show. Jerry’s in great form for his 73 years.



Diana, former ‘Prisoner of Wales’ – she won’t go quietly

DIANA UPDATES: Read Diana Spencer’s (former ‘Princess/Prisoner of Wales’) many comments under my blog of October 6th: ‘Diana, the Revolutionary Princess’ below (click on ‘Comments’). These include her comments on the current economic crisis and appeals to William and Harry to contact their mother via her voice channel medium Andrew Russell-Davis (see my comment 11 and Diana’s comment 13). Princess Beatrice apparently reads Auntie Diana’s website, so there is little doubt the two princes do too. Whether they read my blog of course, is another matter. Diana’s latest site, including posthumous interviews with her by Rose Campbell (an American medium) via Diana’s voice channel Andrew Russell-Davis, is at: 

If you have difficulty finding or hearing the podcasts on the above site, they can also be heard on this site:

There are also many comments from Diana/Andrew Russell-Davis attached to this blog entry. But by far the most convincing evidence that Diana is still very much around and won’t go quietly is to be found in the podcasts.

There you will hear over 40 posthumous interviews, each about 30 minutes long, in which Diana discusses everything, including her murder in Paris, and forecasts the end of the Monarchy. Also humor – such as the remark that while Charles was with his mistress Camilla Diana was ‘not at home playing tiddly-winks’ – she found herself a lover, James Hewitt. And her off-the-cuff remark that were the Monarchy to end Harry and William might not get eggs and tomatoes thrown at them in certain Commonwealth countries, adding: ‘Can’t say the same about Camilla though!’ I love it! Though Diana now says she’s pleased Camilla and Charles are finally married, it’s just a pity the Establishment arranged his marriage to Diana, feeling Camilla was unsuitable. Once you hear the podcasts, the emotion in her voice, the familiar voice (albeit a bit deeper coming thru male vocal chords), you’ll be amazed. Could it be possible? Judge for yourself! Listen to at least one of the podcasts.

Past Life Regression

I watched with interest two TV programs about past life regression, featuring celebrities. An Emmerdale actress (the British soap opera) and Eddie Large from the comedy duo ‘Little and Large’.

These regressions had great similarities to my own hypnotic regression some years ago. I wasn’t asleep, I was fully aware of what I was saying, seemed to be fully awake. Yet I couldn’t have been in a normal state of consciousness, since when I listen to the audio tape of the regression I can clearly hear a dog barking in the street outside. I did NOT hear this at the time, I think the hypnotist must have told me to ignore all noises outside the room or something similar.

In the celebrity regressions, I think it was Eddie Large who thought he’d been in the room with the hypnotist about 20 minutes, when in fact it was 2 hours. I did not get the luxury of a 2 hour sitting, but even so 3 amazing past lives came thru.

The main one was Adrian Howard, a Scotsman who lived with his wife in the Stirling area in the 19th century. He owned land, and at one time a butcher’s shop. I think he grew crops on the land, and had people to work it. Dates were given for his birth and death, but I have been unable to verify these, after looking at records for births, deaths and censuses on the Internet.

The most recent past life of mine was Else, an Austrian woman from Vienna, also married and with a daughter who was in the Hitler Youth. Else died in an Allied air raid when the roof caved in. This was shortly before I was born into my present life, in March 1945.

The other life was of a slave girl from Mesopotania in ancient Egypt. The son of my master got me pregnant, and I died under the knife in some kind of ritual punishment.

The two celebrities had their past lives which came thru in their regressions checked, and these also were inconclusive. Some facts were correct, others didn’t seem to be.

I have never been sure whether my regression produced real past lives or just stories from my fertile imagination, and the two celebrities were likewise unsure.

This would certainly be one explanation, but I don’t think we can rule out the past life hypothesis either.

Are old records that accurate? Are there omissions and mistakes? Have records got lost over the years?

Also, what if there ARE parallel universes where things are similar but slightly different? Quantum theorists have posed the possibility of a parallel Earth where Germany won the Second World War, for instance. If we are remembering past lives on one of these possible parallel Earths, then not all the recorded details would fit.

This may seem fantastic, but it is not unlike the films/TV series where alternative endings are filmed. In last week’s murder on Coronation Street, Britain’s longest running soap, there were three endings filmed of how Liam was murdered. Three parallel Coronation Streets, all with the same characters, the same sets.

It is said by Spirit that we have free will, and the reason Spirit predictions are often unreliable is BECAUSE we have free will. We can CHANGE possible outcomes by our actions.

So perhaps on our Earth Adrian Howard never existed. Perhaps his mother died before he was born, or committed suicide. Whereas on another Earth she didn’t die, and he was born and lived to a ripe old age.

And anyway I can’t be sure Adrian was born in the Stirling area, or even in Scotland, nor where he died. So his birth and death may be recorded elsewhere.

I remain unconvinced that my past lives were real ones, but also unsure whether I just imagined them all. Perhaps some day I’ll be regressed again and see if the same lives recur, and if so, whether more facts are added which can later be checked.

That at least some spirits reincarnate I have no doubt. In fact I’m sure we have all had many incarnations to reach the level we are at in this present lifetime. We must have come up thru the animal kingdom, and evolved into humans. But not all of us have necessarily had previous human incarnations. It is also possible that many animal spirits merge to create a human spirit, just as one day we will merge our spirit with the Great Spirit, the Supreme Being or the Unified Conscious Energy Field, whatever you like to call it. The ultimate goal of evolution.

And there remains one other possibility: that for some reason we are not allowed to remember our past lives, even under hypnosis. If it could impede and interfere with our present life, then perhaps certain past life memories are denied to us, or slightly altered so they cannot be checked.

At least all three of us, the two celebrities and myself, did not all claim to be Marie Antoinette. Three versions of her living in three parallel universes! Now that would be too much of a coincidence. Actually, remembrance of past lives as famous people is very rare. Most are of perfectly ordinary, often humble people. So if it were just imagination, would there not be far more famous and glamorous lives remembered?

Something to think about.  I don’t know the answer, but Adrian Howard is not a name that means anything to me in this life. So where did that name come from?

Matthew Lee/Basic lesson in Marxism


Matthew Lee (click on photos to enlarge them)

Last night I and some friends were fortunate enough to see the very first London appearance (at the Half Moon, Putney) of Matthew Lee and his band, a young Jerry Lee-type singer/pianist from Italy.

He performed for about 90 minutes, very energetically, using many of the trademark gimmicks of the man known as ‘The Killer’. But Matthew also sung his own compositions and songs by other artists, including Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ and an amazing rocked up version of Presley’s ‘It’s Now or Never’ (which, of course, is based on the classical ‘O Solo Mio’).

A very presentabale, charming and talented young man I hope we see more of on our shores. This was a last-minute gig, little advertised, so I hope the next time he appears in London he gets a bigger audience.

This is the start of Jerry Lee Lewis month for me, kicking off with the Matthew Lee show. Later this month the man himself performs two shows in London, 50 years after his first three London concerts in 1958. Jerry appears at the 100 Club, Oxford Street on October 25th, then on 27th his niece MaryJean appears at the Inn on the Green with Country singer Jonny Williams. Supporting them on the bill is Jenny Laine, another Country singer in the mold of Patsy Cline.  On 28th Jerry’s sister (MaryJean’s mother) Linda Gail Lewis supports her brother, along with that other female rocker Wanda Jackson, at The Forum, Kentish Town in a show headlined by The Killer.

I then have two weeks of showing an American Jerry Lee fan and her husband round London and Paris (they’ve never been out of North America before), and we see Jerry Lee Lewis again in Paris on November 14th, with his sister Linda Gail replacing Little Richard on the bill. Chuck Berry is also scheduled to perform on that show.

Little Richard is undergoing hip replacement surgery, but is due to return to Europe in March, and a London show is being lined up at The Forum with Jerry Lee Lewis. The old rockers just keep on rockin’!

Little did I think when I first got hooked on Jerry Lee, and Little Richard, way back in 1964 after seeing their Granada TV specials, that I’d still be going to see them ‘live’ 44/45 years later!



Karl Marx

The current financial crisis and partial collapse of the banking system around the world just proves what shaky foundations the whole capitalist system is built on.

There is a belief that you need money in order to make money. While this appears true for a minority of people, one moment’s thought proves that it is the ultimate fallacy. Money may attract more money, but it cannot create true value. On the contrary, the more money attracts money, the more money itself becomes devalued.

If money really could create wealth, then we could give everyone in the world a million pounds or so, and then all sit back and live off the interest. Fine, except with nobody working crops would rot in the ground, nothing would be built or produced, and there’d be no shops to sell anything anyway. As Marx said, only labor creates real value, and it is the surplus value of labor which is exploited by capitalists in the form of profits and other unearned income such as huge bonuses, shareholders’ dividends and interest on capital above the level of inflation.

The current financial crisis is brought about because of all this unearned income, which has gotten out of control. Huge bonuses for company directors, loads of people living on credit, plus all the dividends and interest being generated have now come home to roost, resulting in the nationalization of much of the banking system.

All  financial institutions should now be taken into public ownership, and all this living on credit and other unearned income stopped for good. There would then be a vast pool of money to fund the public services and keep taxes low.

The fairy tale world of credit and everybody living off interest on capital was never going to work – unless you believe the fairies themselves are going to produce everything we need to survive. Moral: get off your butts and work to earn real money. ‘To each according to their work’ is the motto of Socialism, with elements of ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs’ which is the motto of Communism proper.

Everyone of working age who is able to must work to earn a living, and at the same time those not able to due to age or disability must have their needs satisfied by a caring society.

Diana, the revolutionary princess


Click to enlarge photos of Diana

Diana, former ‘Prisoner of Wales’ as she posthumously refers to herself, has commented on the current financial crisis (see her comment to my last blog). Although this surprised me, as she has usually confined her comments to my blogs about herself speaking from the after-life thru her voice channel, Andrew Russell-Davis, it should really come as no surprise.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Diana communicates thru her voice channel, Andrew Russell-Davis, first by a transcribed book and channeled messages also transcribed, but since 2005 with something approximating her own voice, speaking thru Andrew. This is a unique form of mediumship. There have been direct voice mediums who produced voices of the dead by constructing voice boxes out of ectoplasm, but part of Diana’s essence remains Earthbound, seeing and speaking thru Andrew, with his permission of course. She expects to be doing this until 2010, and her mission is to speak to her two boys, thru Andrew, and also to tell the truth about things. About her life, the events which happened in Paris in 1997, about the future of the Monarchy (or lack of it), and about the reality of life after death.

She has dictated her posthumous autobiography (this must be a first!) ‘She Won’t Go Quietly’ (The Uncensored Diana) on her new website:  This was first transcribed by Andrew, but on the new site Diana herself is reading it out. Also on the site are many channeled interviews with American medium Rose Campbell (the podcasts). In all these Diana speaks in a slightly lower tone than in life, thru Andrew’s vocal chords. But all who knew her or heard her speak can recognize the nuances of speech, the phrasing, the emotions (especially when speaking of Wills and Harry), and can feel the energy of Diana.

Diana when on this Earth became something of a revolutionary, certainly as far as the Royal Family were concerned. Earl Howe called her ‘a loose cannon’. Certainly she undermined everything the Royal Family stood for.

Born Lady Diana Spencer, she was a teacher and a nanny before marrying Prince Charles, and has described herself as a Sloane Ranger.

Only 19 when she became ‘Prisoner of Wales’, with no life of her own, she discovered that Charles, like most other royal husbands, had a mistress – Camilla. Listen to Diana in her own words tell how there were three people in her marriage right from the very beginning.

But Diana was a rebel. Royal wives are not supposed to create trouble, they are meant to keep quiet about such things as mistresses, and not supposed to go on Panorama and talk about them, or say what’s good for the gander is also good for the goose. Diana was not popular in the Royal household. The Queen made her marriage last, but Diana and the new generation of royals were not going to put up with what she puts up with.

But that was not the only way Diana rebelled, nor the only reason the family disliked her. She claims not to be political, but almost everything she did was political. Shaking hands with AIDS patients when nobody else was prepared to do so was a bold political and social statement, taking the princes to meet homeless people was most definitely a political statement, teaching them that there are people not nearly as fortunate and privileged as themselves.

Diana even made William and Harry line up and pay for things in shops like Marks & Spencers, and for rides in Disneyland, although they could have been whisked thru both without either cash or queues. This was a revolutionary thing to do: here was the mother of a future King teaching him that, far from having a divine right to rule, he was no better than anybody else, just more fortunate than most.

Towards the end of her life Diana became more overtly political. She got involved in the campaign against landmines, which ruffled feathers in very high places. Many think this is why she died Paris, only a week or so after making a statement that Tony Blair’s Labour government would be better on the landmines issue than John Major’s Tory government. Nicholas Soames commented that these sort of political statements could not be allowed from the mother of a future King, even if she had been stripped of her royal title. According to Diana, he too described her as a ‘loose cannon’ on occasions.

Diana was no ‘loose cannon’, she was perfectly well aware of what she was doing. Undermining the Monarchy and the Establishment which controlled it. If she had not died in Paris, her next project was to be about Palestinian refugees, another contentious political issue.

Now mothers of future Kings are not supposed to do any of these things. They are expected to be the loyal wife to their husband, ignoring their infidelities, and teach their sons that they are born to rule the kingdom one day, i.e. that they are better than the rest of us. They are not supposed to drag their sons round homeless hostels, make them queue up and handle dirty cash, or get involved in political issues like landmines which the Establishment would find embarrassing.

In one of the posthumous interviews Diana comments that when Charles was with Camilla, Diana was not at home ‘playing tiddly-winks. There’s a bit more to me than that.’ Indeed there is, and Diana has admitted she herself had an affair with James Hewitt.

(The Queen was once found with a man in her bedroom, but claimed he climbed in thru the window. This is probably true, though shows a remarkable lack of security at the Palace.)

What Diana has written in her comment to my last blog is consistent with what she did in life, and what she has said in the post-humous interviews with Rose Campbell.

Her experience of being born into a wealthy, privileged family and then marrying into the royal household has opened her eyes to the inequality and injustices in the world. Diana admits she was no saint when on Earth, she could be a bitch. Staff were sacked by her when in a bad mood, or because of petty jealousies – such as the nanny who became too close to William and Harry. Diana died the same time as Mother Teresa, but the two women were very different. Diana was no Mother Teresa.

Nevertheless, Diana, loose cannon or not, was a constant thorn in the side of the Establishment, and still is. From beyond the grave she forecasts the end of the Monarchy, and with the wisdom gained from her life as Diana and in the world beyond, she now tells us we must create a fairer world, even talking about the destruction of capitalism and the world being forced into adopting a more ‘communistic/socialistic’ system.

As Diana said in that famous Panorama interview, ‘She will NOT go quietly’!

Financial Crisis

Whether or not the current collapse of the world banking system means the capitalist system itself is collapsing, it certainly reflects on the credit society we are now living in.

Living on credit has become a way of life, not least in the mortgage sector, where in the crazy rush to ‘own property’ people mortgage themselves up to the hilt. Of course they don’t ‘own’ these properties at all, not until their mortgage is fully paid off. They are merely living on credit on the mortgage company’s property, and paying thru the nose in interest charges.

Then there is the current fad for bank loans, overdrafts and credit cards. All this living on credit indicates that our current society doesn’t even undestand what money is.

Money is simply payment for labor. A bank note is a voucher to certify that a worker has labored, and thus created value, and is payment for his or her labor, that is all.

Thus any money received which is NOT in payment for labor is either stolen from someone’s wage packet, is borrowed from someone, or is the result of gambling of some sort, be it on the stock markets, in the casinos, on the lottery, at Bingo, or wherever. Buying and selling commodities is legitimate, so long as prices are controlled. When you pay for a commodity you are paying for the labor embodied in producing it, or for the labor which would be required for reproducing it. This is why artwork and rare items increase in value, especially after the artist has died. Nevertheless, you are still paying for the labor and skills involved in producing the said commodity. Of course in a Socialist/Communist society, with controlled prices, the laws of supply and demand would not apply, and so the rarity value of any commodity would be limited. Nobody would pay hundrends of thousands of pounds, or millions, for paint on canvas, no matter how talented the artist.

Interest over and above the level of inflation (there would be no inflation in a Socialist/Communist society, where prices are controlled) is money stolen from workers’ wage packets, pure and simple, as are dividends to shareholders, and all the capitalist’s profits not plowed back into the business.

The sooner we get back to the idea that money has to be earned by working for it, the better.

In a Socialist society every able-bodied man and woman is expected to work and is rewarded accordingly ‘to each according to their work’. Exceptions are of course made for those physically or mentally unable to work, as society has a duty to look after these unfortunate people, but in actual fact they are relatively few in number. Most people, however disabled, have the ability to do some sort of work, even if it’s only sitting in front of a computer at home and doing tasks there.

Society also has a responsibility for the very young and the retired, to educate the former and to reward the latter for a lifetime of service to the community.

Paying money to able-bodied people to be unemployed is a complete nonsense. Jobs must be created where they don’t exist, and this can ONLY be done in a Socialist or Communist society, where all available work is shared out. This means a shorter working day, a shorter working week and indeed a shorter working life (i.e. early retirement) as technology makes labor more productive. There is no room for capitalist profit in such a system, or for shareholders’ dividends.

In a society where the means of production, distribution and exchange is commonly owned, either by the State, as publicly owned companies or as cooperatives/mutual societies, everyone becomes equal shareholders and shares in the benefits. As Socialist society develops then more emphasis is placed on need rather than renumeration for work. If Communism proper is ever achieved, then society would operate on the principle ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs’.

Under Socialism or Communism there is no room for all this living on credit or gambling on stock exchanges with the stolen wages of the workers. There is no need to live on credit because everybody will be provided with low-cost housing at a minimal rent to cover maintenance. Taxes will be relatively low, since all the banking and financial institutions will be owned by the State and run for the people. 100% secure, and also providing the State with a vast reserve of cash to finance the various public services.

So whichever way you look at it, the current financial crisis is indeed a sign of the weakness of the capitalist system.

Many will say: ‘ah, but Socialism also failed’ but this is simply not true. Socialism did not fail. In the Soviet Union and the other Socialist countries it achieved much in the way of security and good public services for the people, but it was distorted by a dictatorial system which allowed opportunists and careerists to gain control, and syphon off much of the communal wealth for themselves.

In all Socialist countries except Yugoslavia, an inefficient system of State-owned monopolies, with little or no incentive for their workers to be efficient or productive, also contributed to the collapse of the system. As did the arms race forced on the Soviet Union by the United States, a deliberate policy designed to undermine Socialism economically.

By learning from the mistakes of the 20th century, and from the economic success of Yugoslavia, Socialism in the 21st century can build an efficient, competitive system with a mixture of cooperatives/mutual societies and publicly owned companies competing in a Socialist market place, and at the same time rewarding the workers in these industries and services with a share of the profits, thus providing an incentive to be efficient and productive. A few industries and services, such as the railways, the banks and financial institutions, and possibly the utility companies (water, gas, electricity) are candidates for State-owned monopolies, but again the workers in these industries and services should be rewarded with a share of the profits.

There will be no need for credit in a Socialist or Communist society. All needs will be addressed, everything provided from cradle to grave. A caring society, in which everyone able to do so works and is in turn rewarded and looked after, and where those not able to work thru age or disability are also looked after.

Student debt is a current feature of our society. I feel it was right that grants were discontinued, since this was the poor underprivileged working class subsidizing the rich and often lazy upper classes to while away their time at ‘uni’, often studying totally useless subjects which would never get them a job, and spending more time on social activities than attending lectures or studying.

However, this problem could be solved by requiring that each student study subjects which would get them jobs. These university places could be sponsored by the companies/organizations needing recruits with degrees in those subjects, and the salaries paid to these recruits would include a deduction for their university education.

Studying other subjects not likely to be useful to a career is low priority, and should be secondary to either working or studying a subject which WILL result in a career. Such subjects would not be so well financed, so places would be quite rightly limited. When sufficient money is available for universal university education, and we all have loads of spare time on our hands, then we can while away years studying subjects just to keep us occupied. Right now, education for careers and jobs is the priority.

The mad scramble for luxuries and fancy homes, all trying to outdo everyone else, is a symptom of our sick, materialistic capitalist society. If people want such things, which are not really necessary, then they must work extra hard for them. So long as your property and possessions have been earned by good honest labor, and are not the stolen proceeds of the labor of others, then you can buy more or less what you like. But true Socialism must avoid the mistake of creating a highly-paid elite; each person must truly be only rewarded according to their work and contribution to society. This includes politicians, performers/artists of all descriptions, diplomats, etc.. It was corruption in these areas which created a parasitical ruling class which distorted Socialism and exploited the toiling masses in the former Socialist countries, even though the basis of Socialism remained intact, as did the excellent social and public services. Basic needs were catered for, but the ruling clique creamed off the luxuries for themselves.

This was NOT true Socialism, and such corruption was able to continue because of the collapse of socialist democracy. Therefore always there must be the opportunity for a credible opposition and alternative government thru muti-party free elections albeit within the confines of a Socialist Constitution.

Mortgages and living on credit would NOT be encouraged in a Socialist society, where interest would be made illegal, and therefore nobody would have the incentive to lend money to others. If you want something you can’t afford, then you have work and save for it.